This morning I went for a hearing test, I had one two years ago because sometimes I have difficulty with hearing a child speak if there is background noise in the classroom. My last test was fine but this was a free follow up. Anyway, I met a lovely gentleman who not only performed the test but also took the time to explain to me how the hearing system works.
It was obvious when he was talking with me, that he loves his job and I loved listening to what he had to say because it was said with such enthusiasm. Apparently it is becoming more common to loose the ability to hear high pitches if there is background noise and also with age.
As we know, hearing is not the same as listening. Hearing problems can come from the ear itself or from the neurones in the brain. So sometimes we can hear but we are not understanding or listening. I am sure we are all familiar with that concept.
This man gave me a lovely analogy, he asked me to imagine that my ear was like a railway station and sometimes I got onto the wrong track that lead nowhere. The train got there but there was no one there. He also referred me to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King%E2%80%93Kopetzky_syndrome to check out Obscure Auditory Disfunction or King–Kopetzky syndrome.
He said that children can also get it and that might be a reason they misbehave in class.
This document explains it all in detail http://www.thebsa.org.uk/images/stories/docs/BSA_APD_Management_1Aug11_FINAL_amended17Oct11.pdf It is a bit technical but worth a read.
It was a pleasure to meet someone who loved his job and rightly so. The world of hearing is fascinating but the world of listening and decoding is utterly compelling!